How Smoking Impacts Vision

When you think of smoking the first disease you might think of is “lung cancer” or other heart diseases. But you will be surprised to know,  smoking can be the cause of many dangerous eye diseases some of which are irreversible, may even lead to blindness.

Smoking and Eye Disease 

Daily Smoking, especially 20 or cigarettes a day can for a very long time can impact your eyes badly. Along with harming your overall health, Smoking can cause cerebral lesions which negatively affect the visual processing area of your brain.

Smoking tobacco increases the risk of developing vision-related diseases such as macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, etc. Moreover, smoking can cause symptoms like itchy eyes, dry eyes, etc.

We have listed down the diseases smoking causes. Keep reading to learn more.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration 

AMD is a disease that causes serious damage to the vision, making it hard or impossible to read, recognize faces and colors, and even drive. It occurs with the deterioration of the macula, the central part of your retina, and can lead to blindness.

Smokers have a four times higher risk of developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration than those who don’t. You can minimize this risk of irreversible vision loss by quitting smoking.


Cataract is one of the leading causes of blindness. Though it is said to be a disease of the elderly, smoking doubles the risk of developing cataracts and can even triple if you smoke really heavily. Though cataracts can be fixed from surgery, it’s always best to prevent any disease. And quitting smoking is one of the ways you can prevent cataracts.


Uveitis occurs when the uvea, the middle layer of the eyeball gets inflamed causing red and swollen eyes. Uveitis can damage the iris and retina of your eyes which can lead to serious eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment, etc. Smokers have two times more risk of developing uveitis.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Smoking increases the risk of developing diabetes by 40% as thus the risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy as well. Diabetes damages the blood vessels in your retina which leak blood into the eyes. This leaking can stop the oxygen from reaching the light-sensitive cells in the retina and lead to blindness. 

Dry Eyes

Dry eye occurs when there are not sufficient tears to keep your eye lubricated or tears don’t have the correct balance of water, lipids, and mucus that’s required to keep your eyes moist. Some of the dry eye symptoms are itchiness. red eyes and gritty eyes. Smoke works as a drying agent that evaporates the eyes’ natural moisture which leads to dryness.

Secondhand Smoke and Eye Disease 

Secondhand smoke includes both, the smoke from the end of the cigarette and the smoke exhaled by the smoker. It harms not only the eye of the smokers but the people around them too. People who suffer from second-hand smoke have a high risk of asthma attacks, infections, and even SIDS.

Stop Smoking to Save Your Vision

Quitting smoking can have a positive and immediate effect on your health. When you stop smoking your body starts its process of repairing itself and preventing vision loss.

For any eye-related problems call 817-741-1073 to make an appointment at Advanced Eye Clinic or contact us today.